Rifkind clutching at Straws?

With the Rifkind/Straw ‘debacle‘ surfacing, the ‘great-and-the-good-know-it-all’ have lost no time in airing their views on the matter. Witness: Paul Goodman on ConservativeHome; Douglas Murray in The Speccie; and John Lehal on PublicAffairs.

Goodman writes that: We want MPs who don’t earn outside the Commons and aren’t paid more by the taxpayer and are people of real ability. But it’s impossible to have all three at once – but does not realise that it is not impossible. Douglas Murray believes that MPs have too little to do and aren’t paid enough – and on what I presume he considers a ‘pittance’ they have to run two homes. John Lehal seems either not ‘taken aback’ or ‘surprised’ at quite a lot that most people would be about how MPs ‘load’ their basic salary – even though he does admit that the fact MPs have little to do is due to the fact their predecessors off-loaded most of their duties to Brussels.

Not one of these geniuses (or genii) appears to be aware that each of the problems about which they write is quite easily solved by the introduction of direct democracy. Reading the articles linked to above, it is quite easy to see how the salaries of MPs can be controlled by the people; it is quite easy to see how the ‘behaviour’ of MPs can be controlled by the people; in fact it is quite easy to see how all the problems that our ‘great-and-good-know-it-all’ talking heads pontificate about can be addressed.

Problem solving really is quite simple if one engages brain.


8 thoughts on “Rifkind clutching at Straws?

  1. Yes the problems are easily solved, but the people who have it in their power to solve them have no intention of doing so. It isn’t in their interests to be bound to the electorate and while voters vote along party lines that’s how things will remain.

    Note – John Lehal link is a copy of the Douglas Murray link.

    1. This has been my contention for many years re governing authorities UK/eu/UN et al, The only people in a position to make a change have a vested interest, often their own, not to.
      We’re making a big fuss about Rifkind and Straw, there are probably hundreds of them.

  2. Being an MP may be demanding and strenuous at times but it has never been a full time occupation. Parliament’s hours of business were traditionally arranged to allow Hon. Members to continue their practice at the bar and not a single one ever found it difficult to combine his task as representative of his constituents with becoming a minister of the crown. Other MPs managed to combine other careers and were probably better for it. It is only since 1971 that MPs started to enjoy pension rights additional to their parliamentary salaries and second home allowances so it was necessary to keep their hand in somehow. MPs did not get a budget for employing researchers and assistants. Several MPs would join forces to pay for a secretary. That’s how Betty Boothroyd got her political start.
    The trouble was that the new system with its Top Salaried Review Body was introduced at a time of massive inflation when governments were urging pay restraint, so the government would not implement the salary recommendations and told MPs to rip off the expenses system which would not be noticed – and that was so for a very long time. This was told me by a parliamentarian of those times. I think this is where more elastic standards of financial and moral probity began to take root and today’s MPs are not shy in being “taxis plying for hire” . That, of course, poses the question ” Whose hirelings are they? ” – anybody but their constituents unless it’s election time appears to be the answer.

  3. It’s clear that some people regard Rifkind as a big-shot in the world of defence and security. Equally clear is that Rifkind thinks he is too. And yet he was taken in by a simple sting that revolved around greed and a misplaced sense of self importance. We may wonder in the police, security services and public officials both elected and appointed how many more are like him? He is an incompetent buffoon.

  4. In RIfkind’s case there has to be security concerns. If he is taken in by such a crass sting operation Lord only knows what secrets he is capable of giving away. He must stand down from the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security committee. He should at any rate lose his DV clearance.

    1. Rifkind – ‘Lord only knows what secrets he is capable of giving away’ –

      I saw it the other way around. What does he know, what does he understand, just how useful is he? He showed himself as clueless on the Snoopers Charter. In a democracy what the spooks want and what the people will allow will be different. And no, we cannot trust the security people. They are just power mad and as much a worry as the terrorists!

  5. david i know you like the idea of direct democracy, however, i would not place to much faith in it. see swissinfo.ch from 2005 ,” swiss people think politics most corrupt area”. you just cant trust the buggers!

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